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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Chantel McGregor

Bury'd Alive

Review by Gary Hill

I have put this album under heavy metal. That's mainly because of the guitar sound. I can see people disagreeing with that label. The thing is, this really does feel like a lot of the blues-oriented early metal out there. There is a real jam band quality at times, too. This is a live set featuring what is essentially a power trio led by Chantel McGregor who provides both the guitar and vocals. It's quite an interesting set that never feels redundant. The guitar really shines as the most powerful aspect of every song, but there is more to the picture than that, too.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Take The Power
A slow moving metal jam brings this into being as the show gets under way. There is some killer riffing that rises up as the number builds outward. The vocals join after the introduction, and we're in a bluesy rocking mode. The guitar solo section is purely on fire.
Killing Time
Fierce metal stomping brings this into being. It still has plenty of that blues rock thing on display, too, but with the emphasis on the "rock" end of that equation. I'd consider this a lot like a more metal Led Zeppelin. There are a couple changes along the road here, and this is a powerhouse tune.
Like No Other
They bring things down here for a balladic cut. I like this, and appreciate the variety it brings, but it's not one of my favorites here. They do rock it up a bit after a time, turning it into more of a power ballad as they do. The guitar solo section is great, too.
Caught Out
We're back into the metal zone as this powers up out of the gate. The vocal section brings more of that hard-edged blues rock approach. This is meaty and mean. The riffing is exceptional.
Eternal Dream
This number is an epic, weighing in at over nine minutes of music. While this is another mellower tune, I'm not sure that I'd call it a ballad. It's more of a psychedelic, proggy rock tune. The tune gradually builds upward, but doesn't really get into what I'd call metal territory until after the half-way mark. When the crunch returns, it's delivered over an arrangement that remains slow moving and psychedelic. While the screaming guitar soloing demands a lot of attention, pay attention to the killer bass sounds, as well during the extended instrumental movement that makes up the rest of the piece.
Lose Control
Fiery blues rock meets metal, this is screaming hot. It's a real powerhouse.
Inconsolable
This cut is over twelve-and-a-half minutes long. It starts in a mellower zone and gradually grows upward as a ballad. Again, pay attention to the bass work on this piece. Bassist Colin Sutton really gets to show off a bit here. I love the expressive guitar soloing that comes in rather sedate around the five-minute mark and gradually builds upward. By around the six-minute mark it really brings the cut back into metallic territory with screaming hot guitar sounds. It makes its way back down to an almost fusion-like jam eventually. The interplay between the bass and guitar is so cool. Then the track starts getting more into metallic zones by intensifying the sounds of that section. This thing is purely on fire, really.
Your Fever
A stuttered metal chording opens this number. The track stomps out in the midst of the first vocal section to more of a full on blues metal screamer. This is on fire for certain. There is a great instrumental section that features both prominent bass work and fierce guitar soloing.
April
This comes in with an echoey, understated element that has some definite psychedelia in the mix. It leans toward proggy in some ways. The tune gradually builds outward from there. Over eight-minutes long, it has plenty of room and McGregor and her band use that time wisely. It eventually screams out into metallic zones as it continues. This thing really builds out into some powerhouse jamming. Again, miss the bass work at your peril. The guitar is in your face, but that bass is so cool. This instrumental is a killer.
Walk On Land
Another killer tune, the blues rock and metal merge in style on this screamer. Again, the guitar soloing really takes it to a new level, but it's a powerhouse even without that consideration.
Freefalling
Fast paced metallic jamming is on display as this fires out of the gate. The cut drops back after the introduction to a more droning approach for the entrance of the vocals. The tune continues to evolve and grow from there. The instrumental section later features some more of that exceptional bass work along with the smoking hot guitar soloing you expect.
 
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